• Oxford Instruments wins King’s Award for Enterprise
  • Making adjustments on the detector

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Oxford Instruments wins King’s Award for Enterprise

May 09 2024

Oxford Instruments has been been presented with the King’s Award for Enterprise for Innovation for its Symmetry detector which enables a deeper understanding of material properties through structural analysis at the nanoscale level. An increase in the speed at which in-depth analyses can be performed has resulted in a wider uptake of this approach, said the company.

The detector uses electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) to analyse surfaces for minuscule weaknesses or flaws in the crystalline structure, helping to understand how they came about and how they can be addressed.

With the addition of the detector to an electron microscope chamber, analysis is possible in a matter of minutes – this step-change was made possible by a radically new detector design which combined a fibreoptic lens with a CMOS detector.

This provision of high resolution imagery at high speed has made applications of this technology more widely accessible across a variety of sectors and industries – from developing far more robust and long-lasting batteries and semiconductors, to developing stronger aircraft turbine blades. It has even been used to analyse meteorites to help understand how extra-terrestrial rock formed.

“Symmetry was developed to provide our customers with a step change in performance and has enabled them to achieve significant speed and sensitivity gains as they aim to better understand and improve the properties of materials,” said Dr Ian Wilcock, managing director, Oxford Instruments Materials Analysis Group. “It was a tremendous team effort, demonstrating innovation at Oxford Instruments at its best and I am delighted for those efforts to have been recognised with such a prestigious accolade as the King’s Award for Enterprise.”

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